Thursday, September 30, 2010

Speaking of money

I remember when we had our very first Fertility Babies meeting on 14 November last year my babies were a mere 4 months old.

I remember the date because we got the SMS that Caren's twins (the ones in the middle in these pics) were born while at the meeting which I think is really cool - I just LOVE when things like that happen.

Of course one of the things that came up in the discussion was money as at that stage we were spending between R10 and R12 000 a MONTH - normal stuff plus the paed, opthalmologist, audiologist, vaccinations, etc. Crazy!

I couldn't see the future as my life was craziness at home plus swipe, swipe, swipe of the credit card and a very rapidly diminishing savings account.

One of the more experienced mothers whose twins were 17 months at the time said that it gets better, both physically and financially. When the babies eat proper food and drink milk, they also go through fewer nappies (diapers). ALL round win-win.

Well, despite my misgivings, it happened. And sooner than I thought. From month 6 our bills started going down.

The night nanny left, 3-monthly paed visits instead of every 2 - 4 weeks, no more opthalmologist or audiologist, no doctors and cheap vaccinations in the form of my lovely Sister Carla up the road.

After 12 months, no more formula, and despite Dr S saying we could stop baby vitamins, I still continue - I'm scared to mess with a good thing. But that is the only thing that is exactly the same as when they were tiny babies - vitamins in their morning milk.

And these days we're spending so little money on the babies (*fingers crossed*) that we were able to buy their car seats from our normal "baby budget" last month.

Granted, I am not the most extravagant mother but I have loosened up on the clothes (I still prefer not to have more than 8 changes of clothes per size per baby - doesn't always work out though) and book spending (just this week I bought 5 love languages of children for me and 3 Priddy books for them, on MandyE's recommendation).

We have a budget where we pool all money, save separately and together, and both have discretionary spending money. We've used this system for years and it works VERY well (I even coach clients to do the same).

I have a separate category for "baby stuff" which includes nanny, clothes, toys, nappies, pharmacy, medical and other. Those categories work for us.

I like having a separate baby budget so I can see if we're going crazy in one area and why. In Sept we went over by R57 (unlike me) but when I went back to see why, it was due to the car seats. Which actually means we did really well.

Do you budget? How do you budget for your kids?

In other news, my bedroom is a normal colour again (Plascon Fragrant Days) and we both love it! I got the painter in on Tuesday, exactly 4 months later so you can't say I didn't give it a good bash at living with the new colour. Next up my study... then pics!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mother-in-law drama and family "help"

My mother-in-law is one of those people who discovers something and then goes after the fad 100%.

Like if she decides cider vinegar is the new elixir, well, that's it. We will hear about it forever and a day.

So she is on a mission to have me not use table salt for the babies.

She came over once when I was cooking rice/ pasta (something like that) and told me that sea salt is best, not table salt.

At the time, I said something like "I really don't care" (not as rude) but basically that.

The reason being... I really don't care. I have FAR BIGGER things in life to worry about. And secondly, I hardly use salt. I have low blood pressure because of my salt aversion, for goodness sake. And of course, the babies don't know any difference so still hardly get any salt and definitely no sugar in their food.

So last week she sent me and D a "helpful article" about the table salt again, and also the article said that plastic containers should not be microwaved.

Again, I don't really care. What's 30 seconds here and there?

(also the point is not the content of her email, it's about the interfering which I'll get to in my roundabout way soon-ish)

I asked D how he wanted to deal with it; he said to ignore it. I like to tackle things head-on so I told him I'd reply.

And I did. I told her that we prefer not to live in fear and also (again!) that we hardly use salt so it is not an issue.

I didn't hear a thing back.

But I know she's upset because I feel the tension.

Granted, I'm a little to blame as D said my email was cold and "could you not have put a Love, Marcia or something?" I said, "no, I want the tone to be firm and cold."

Reason being, she is the type if you're not VERY firm, it's an invitation to engage on the topic again and again, and I'm not going there.

I am their mother and I make the food rules. D knows I'm doing the best I can for the kids so he's happy to go along. We have a policy where the one who feels strongly about an issue gets their way if the other one is indifferent.

Anyway, so Friday.

On Friday last week we had a public holiday in South Africa.

I (now) love having an extra day on the weekend because it allows us extra social time :)

I said "now" because when the babies were little, I'd dread the weekends simply because we'd have no help and we'd both be dog-tired by Sunday night.

It has not been that bad the last 4 months or so. We're actually enjoying our time together - who would have thought?! :)

Anyway, back to the public holiday.

I prefer to pre-empt social plans as I then have a measure of control so I suggested to D that we get together with family so that we'd be done til Christmas.

Yes, I'm bad.

D phoned his sister who's always game for socials and we invited ourselves over since his mother was going to be there too. Something about killing two birds with one stone.

I decided to take the kids' lunch, snack and supper with us as well as their bath things and pajamas so that we could feed them, bath them and then put them in the car to fall asleep while driving back from Pretoria, about an hour away from our house.

A couple of things happened to make us realise we really can't depend on anyone else to help with the babies.

D's sister told him on the phone that we can just relax and chill and she and his mom would watch the kids.

Well, his mom watched the kids for 15 minutes while we quickly ate our lunch.

The rest of the time we were "on". Yes, there was some playing with the babies but certainly not that either of us could really "relax".

My expectations were not high so I wasn't disappointed but D was ... he is also highly protective and kept thinking the dogs would attack because they were barking in Connor's face. He was crawling around FAST like a little boy on steroids :) D's point was didn't look like anyone cared about the dogs possibly biting our boy.

I said, "of course no one cares like we do - they're OUR kids"

Anyway, last MIL story.

She has it in her head that Connor loves strawberries so she brings out this bowl with strawberries LIBERALLY covered with sugar.

"Here, Connor"

I said, "he can only have strawberries if the sugar is rinsed off" so D went to rinse off the sugar.

Connor is, in fact, not a lover of strawberries and duly spat them out (I am quite proud that I kept a straight face).

She then tries to keep feeding him these darn strawberries so eventually I said, "no, he can't have anything to eat now. Snack time is over"

Those of you who were reading when the babies were real, tiny babies will remember how Kendra used to graze - 25 ml here, 30 ml there.

Since that's fixed, I am STRICT. No more grazing. We eat 5 times a day and that's it. Not on the hour!

So she said nothing but gee, it's exhausting.

I mentioned the salt and microwave thing to a lady at work who very rightly said, "she means well". That is true and I'm aware of it.

But where does the interfering stop?

She is actually not a bad person, she's a good granny; it's just these one or two things that keep cropping up.

What's your relationship like with your MIL? If you've had issues, tell me what worked for you?

P.S. Did my 45 mins last night at gym. So far so good... But abs very sore from those 140 crunches on Monday night.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Have you let yourself go?

I was blog browsing and someone posted about feeling like she'd let herself go because she is a SAHM with a baby of about 8 months.

What's the use, she said, of getting dressed "cute" when you're just home with the baby?

The end conclusion (I read all 38 comments) is that it really doesn't take that long to "put yourself together" and at the end of the day, YOU feel better about yourself. Also, the husbands appreciate it.

Now I'll talk about my situation.

I have and always will be a girl made for comfort and not for style.

I love being comfortable, I would absolutely NEVER "waste" money buying clothes I didn't feel comfortable in.

Which is why I live in jeans and t-shirts, or capris and t-shirts, or shorts and t-shirts... you get the picture.

But when I go to work, I somehow dress up more. I love my suits (those that can still fit me), tailored pants and shirts with jackets.

We have a casual day policy every Friday and I must admit, on those days, I somehow feel less productive and less "get up and go", maybe because I'm in jeans and a t-shirt. I don't know.

When I have TONS to do at work or a meeting where I really need to accomplish lots of things, I tend to dress up more (usually in red, or black with flashes of red - trademark red bag, etc.) so that I feel empowered, confident and energetic.

Most people think I don't wear make-up because I wear so little - the barest hint of foundation, eye-liner and lipstick. Sometimes I bother with some eyeshadow.

I know that most people are not like me. And that doesn't bother me one iota.

I've always felt that as long as you're neat, clean and presentable, you're good to go.

But reading the blog post made me wonder - have I let myself go?

I know I have a bit in the weight department. I think I've been using the fact that I had a twin pregnancy to hide from the simple fact - I am eating too much and not exercising enough.

I've resisted hiring the personal trainer, not for money, as would usually be the case, but because I'm struggling to figure out exactly how I'm going to squeeze 1 hr 15 min into my already full days, 3 times a week.

So while I figure that out, I think I need to up the ante. I'm committing to you to work out (that is at the gym OR in my house) for 45 mins 3 times a week for the next 5 weeks. I'm also going to drink my 2 L of water a day and have one extra veg a day. Carrot sticks, here I come.

After all, I have a photo shoot booked for 30 October.

So how far along the path of "letting myself go" do you think I am?

Are any of you in the same boat and when did you recognise you were at that point?

P.S. I did 140 ab crunches in front of the TV last night for 5 minutes. Onward and upward.....

Monday, September 27, 2010


I'm taking a few minutes to quickly empty my brain of some noise.

I've had a decidedly "off" day today.

The minute I arrived at work it started.

I had some feedback about my presentation on Thursday. I "sounded nervous" - probably true because I had not done enough prep - yet the feedback made me feel so blah.

Like how can I call myself a speaker and not do the speaking well?!

That was number 1.

Then I happened to look down at my to-do list and I saw I had to work on the PESTER analysis today.

Just the type of stuff I hate.

I'm not one for pondering "what if situations" to start off with and if you add to that the fact that quite honestly, everything in the world has an influence (direct and indirect) on our industry, this is a never-ending exercise. That is number 2.

I said this to my INTP colleague and she said, "that's why I love doing these" :)

Well, I'm about finite things (a very clear J) and this is just dragging me down. And strat is a month away. I'm determined to not let this stuff take over my life for the next month though.

Then other stupid things like how no matter if I lose a kilo or not, I still look 14 weeks pregnant as the weight disappears from my (already) non-existent boobs. Number 3.

And the fact that all my friends talk to one another on FB and no-one talks to me despite me talking to them. Number 4.

I know, I know, boohoo, there's bigger things in life.


Which bugs me even more.

What do I have to complain about? I have a wonderful husband, children, house, car (ok, it could be bigger but you know I have debt issues as in I hate it), nanny, etc.

I mailed D to say, "should I work late? I'm so stressed". He says, "sure, the kids will be fine not seeing you for a day and your stress levels will benefit".

So of course, I did exactly the opposite and realised it's ME that needs them in the afternoon - they don't even realise that I haven't been there until they see me.

Coming home was worth it - Connor is the best welcomer of people in the world. He smiles so big when he sees me and starts jumping up and down in excitement.

There is no point to this - I'm literally just journalling.

And now, I'm off to do an hour's work on this darn PESTER analysis before the Survivor finale (you've got to take your pleasures where you can get them).

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Birth control and money

I'm doing the budget (yes, the time stamp is right - 12:18 am - had heavenly two-hour nap today so am wide awake) as I have this "thing" about old money vs new money.

As in, I can't get comfortable spending new money without all the old money fully accounted for.

Yes, I have issues.

So, I'm busy entering "birth control" into my spreadsheet.

I think I should call it "medication" as D has told me he doesn't trust patches - they just don't seem like they'll do the job. I'd forget the whole deal if it weren't for the endometriosis.

Isn't it ironic?

We spent R100 000 to get the babies and now, even thought I'm "sub-fertile", we're doubling up on birth control just to make DOUBLE sure we never have to go through the newborn stage again?!

Feel free to slap me if you're still waiting for your miracle!

P.S. I really must tell you about my crazy obsession with photo shoots and photographers - spent a glorious hour browsing photos this evening.

P.P.S. I know I often say "I must tell you _______ " - please feel free to remind me if I forget, especially you, Deanna. I know you remember everything!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Motherstyles - are you a P or a J?

I am a serious slacker.

I've had this post on my "to blog" list for 3 months now and I just don't get around to it but I've decided I can't go into October with this still on my list.

So here goes:

For me, P vs J is actually the easiest part of the Myers-Briggs style to spot in people.

I wonder if it's the same for you?

P means perceiving and J means judging - I don't know why they use those words because I don't get the correlation.

In a nutshell, the P is about options, possibility, spontaneity, flexibility, not closing doors while the J is about closing the loops, certainty, order, planning, structure, keeping to deadlines.

As you read those descriptions, check in with yourself.

Did you twitch when you read about the J characteristics? You're likely a P.

Did you twitch when you read about the P characteristics? You're likely a J.

Ps don't plan unless they absolutely have to. LOL

D and I are both Js.

My boss is a P though.

A quick work example - in my job in business development, we see many different sorts of business ideas.

In about 70% of the instances it's clear early on if we're going to do business or not.

I always want to tell the people the deal is not going ahead as soon as we're sure about it while he likes to keep things open and think about who-knows-what for a while longer.

We used to butt heads on this sooo many times until I asked him once, "what exactly (that's S-speak) is keeping you from simply telling him no?"

He said that he likes the people and may want to do business in the future (can you see he likes options and possibilities?).

So I've swayed him to my way of thinking which is, "we like you and think you're fabulous BUT this particular deal is not right for us now".

Now we're both happy.

If you're unsure if you're a P or a J, it's about personality versus choice. In other words, your first impulse.

There's a great example in the book about the mother who is cooking supper (let's just pretend even if you don't cook) when her child comes into the kitchen and says, "come look at the frog outside".

A typical J response is to first want to finish cooking (as she doesn't want supper to be late) and then go look at the frog while a typical P response is to happily go look at the frog as she's spontaneous and probably wants to see the frog herself :)

Both mothers might act against their preference but their first natural impulse is to act according to type.

Let's talk time.

Both J and P mothers have very different ideas about time. "On time for supper" for a P mother could be anywhere between 5 and 7 pm while for a J mother 15 minutes past 5 is late :)

I relate - the babies eat supper at 4 on weekdays and 4:30 on weekends because we consciously run a bit later. I must admit, I start getting antsy if gets to the 8:40 or 4:40 mark and breakfast or supper is not ready :)

Some of the J mom strengths are...

  • organising and planning
  • having set meal and bedtimes for your kids
  • a smooth-running, orderly household
  • they approach motherhood as a responsibility

while some of the P mom strengths are...

  • being tolerant and accepting
  • being spontaneous, easy-going and relaxed
  • being responsive and open-minded to your child
  • being relaxed about clutter, chaos and disorder

(I just noticed that the word BEING is in all the P mom strengths and that's a big struggle of mine, personally :))

I loved the tips for the J and P moms in the book. There are 7 for each but I'll only highlight 1 each.

One of the biggest tips for Js that I found helped me the most (actually before I read this book but was then affirmed by the book) is to have a place or project to control to your heart's content, where you can keep things exactly as you want them or do things exactly as you prefer to do. It's about regaining a sense of order in at least one aspect of life.

A tip for the P mom is to create space for freedom from a tight schedule every week, to do things slow and unscheduled, and have time for spontaneity.

So.... what are you? Are you a J or a P?

If you've been following along with the whole series, leave me your complete style in the comments. Otherwise, you could always take the quiz (link in my first post) and then come back to let me know.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Two broken toilet seats in two days, and other goings on

What are the chances?

Day before yesterday our toilet seat from over 5 years (we’ll be in the house 5 years on 1 Nov) broke so yesterday D went to get another.

I was on it twice when it broke again!

Surely it can’t be sending me a message????

I’m putting it down to inferior toilet seats (not cheap at R200 a pop – they’re wooden – I don’t like a cold bum) :)


In other news...

I had to do a "client presentation" at work this morning to my team. We all have to do it so I volunteered to go first just to get it over and done with. I am SO GLAD it's done!

It was postponed from two weeks ago which means it has been hanging over my head. Don't you hate that?!

They were VERY harsh in their "feedback", not so much of mine but of the more senior team member who also did hers. I got good feedback on presentation style but some content was lacking :)

I wasn't upset - I went and got my hair done and dressed smart in a suit even though it is casual day today... because I was pretending that it was a real client presentation.

So glad it's over!


And... I fired the cleaning lady last week. I just had enough.

I can't tell her the same things week in and week out (she only comes once a week) and the previous week I told her "it's not going to work out if I have to keep repeating myself" and so I did it.

I phoned the last of the ladies on my old list of contacts who was supposed to come in on Tuesday. She just didn't pitch so that's her.

Yesterday I grabbed the newspaper and started phoning a new bunch of ladies. If they sound "half asleep" on the phone, I immediately stop the phone interview as they're certainly not going to be any more energetic in person.

Well, lady 2 sounded great and came today. She seemed nice..but then again they all do. I told her on the phone that I don't want to have to tell her obvious things - she needs to use her initiative.

So we'll see....

Tonight I have a really exciting task to look forward to - completing my income tax return :)

What's going on in your life?

P.S. The baby was born today and it's a BOY!!!! Thank God because I bought blue everything :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

S*x day?

I totally forgot to tell you something about the baby shower.

We were talking very candidly about s*x, as you do when you're with girls, and how very little of it you end up having with babies around…

Well, our one friend said she and her hubby have date night every Wed (my dream!) and they also have a s*x day.

Someone asked, “how often does the s*x day happen?”

She said, “once a week, every Sunday morning. If you don’t schedule it, it doesn’t happen.”

All I can say is, D better never get wind of that :)

I, I thought of you this Sunday morning and was sooooo, so tempted to send a text but I was very good and I resisted the temptation :)

I do actually think the s*x day is a fantastic idea……….what do you think? what works for you?

P.S. Stay anonymous if you must, but I want to know :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bored but busy

At the moment I’m going through a bored but busy patch at work.

We’re preparing for our annual strategy conference which means lots of research (PESTER and SWOT analyses) and talking about ideas which does not do “it” for me. I don’t know if it’s an S thing or a Marcia thing.

The company I work for is predominantly NPs so there is lots of up-in-the-air thoughts with no closure. And that freaks me out just a little bit.

Nevertheless, I plough on.

It also happens that I have TONS of work on my plate so I feel I can’t give everything the attention it deserves which is just not me.

And we have a short week as Friday is Heritage Day in South Africa, which means a public holiday – yippee!

Yesterday I met with that Head Honcho guy (thanks to some of you for asking about it) and he was very persuasive, so much so that I was left thinking, “exactly WHY did I decline this offer again?”

But I gave myself a quick talking-to, focused and stayed firm on all the points I needed to.

I told them I wanted a higher salary, job grade and flexible work hours and no guilt if my wild children throw out their arms or develop sudden fevers J Here’s what we agreed – in office 9 – 3:30 but when I’m on projects 8.30 – 4.00 (which I can do comfortably and still make it home in time for V to leave) So he’s going to sort out HR stuff and make me a new offer……..

In other news, I’m trying go to a Yoga or Pilates class. I heard/ read the other day (brain is fuzzy) that Pilates is the exercise equivalent of watching paint dry! LOL – I’ve always thought so as I fell asleep once in my one and only Pilates class.

But I persist... as I need to do something different because I’m bored with my exercise routine. I tried to go to Yoga yesterday, opened the door to the class, saw all these Zen-type people on their coloured mats, felt WAY out of my depth and hugely inadequate and instead went to my comfort zone, a dance class LOL

Are you a Yoga/ Pilates person?

P.S. Yes, I am totally procrastinating the boring stuff by writing this post :)

P.P.S. I'm 60% through with my last Motherstyles post - will post tomorrow!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Somewhere deep inside

Something's got a hold on you...
And it's pushing me aside
See it stretch on forever

Do you recognise the song yet?

Those lyrics are from Better be home soon - Crowded House

YIP - they're coming to Johannesburg on 29 and 30 Oct and I couldn't be more excited.

I am definitely going!

I've seen them in concert ages ago (about 17 years ago, D and I weren't even married yet) and they were BEYOND fantastic.

I can't wait!

Can't cross it off my life list but I'm still going to have a ball :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Gorgeousness, geekiness and giveaways

MandyE wrote a post a few days ago about how she calls her girls beautiful that reminded me of something I wanted to talk about.

A friend at work popped up to see me and asked how the babies were.

I exclaimed rather passionately, "oh, they're gorgeous" and then I realised what I'd said so I tried to backtrack but another colleague said, "oh yes, B, they definitely ARE gorgeous".


But let me explain.

I think of gorgeousness as yumminess. Like I could eat those little legs, nibble at their cheeks, smother them in kisses because they're "gorgeous".

I do think they're fairly good-looking babies (and of course I know I'm just a tad biased) but I don't think D and I have anything to do with it - God fashioned them exactly as they are.

I also tell the babies that they're gorgeous and the "best little boy/ girl in the whole wide world", etc, etc. I've mentioned before that my parents never told us they're proud of us, etc. and I definitely want to rectify that for my kids.

I don't think they "get" any of that yet but I do want them to grow up with oodles of confidence. In fact, I've always, ALWAYS wanted to run confidence-building workshops for kids and I think it's even more important these days than it was back when I first thought about doing them. I really think kids these days have it hard because there's so much pressure!

Would you think me vain if I told you my babies are gorgeous?

What kind of things do you say to your babies/kids?

P.S. In other news, have you all seen the new stats feature in blogger?

I have slight nerdy tendencies so I spent some lovely time analysing the top posts, seeing where everyone's from (I get 5 times the amount of traffic from the US than SA, and Cat, most of the SA'n traffic is referred from your blog!), the biggest referrers of traffic here, top page views (the post about milktart!), etc.

I must confess - I'm lazy as all get out so even though I have feedburner and all that, I actually never (and I really mean never - like once a YEAR) go in and look at the stats so this was such fun for me.

P.P.S. Do you enter the giveaways in the blogosphere? I never do! It started because most giveaways (like 98%) are for people in the US and Canada, and no-one ships here. But then I got to thinking and really, with my luck, I'd have to enter 5000 to win 1. What are your views on giveaways?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Today was a very special day

We had a baby shower for the founder of our infertility support group, K. It was actually a combined baby shower/ Fertility Babies group and it was very well attended.

It was the first baby shower I'd actually looked forward to and it was lovely.

I still had the text message on my phone from when she found out she was pregnant. I remember I was right in the middle of the bath/ bedtime craziness and I remember thinking what a Big, Awesome God we serve because this baby is truly a miracle. No IVF, no treatments, no medication, nothing.

She often tells me I inspire her (because we both have that same fear of needles and I had my 2 IVFs) and I feel exactly the same because she faithfully hosted that infertility support group for 2.5 years now while women were falling pregnant left, right and centre.

We've had about 28 babies born in the group (can't remember exact numbers) and I know I couldn't have done seen all that happen without losing it.

It's always so interesting to see how different everyone is in their mothering style - K mentioned wanting to get a bottle warmer, about 3 of us said, "waste of money" and others said, "oh, absolutely get one".

The one thing that has saved us TONS of time with our babies is not warming milk, even in the dead of winter. A tip I learned at the multiples seminar that has stood me in good stead as I never had a baby screaming because it wanted warm milk, just because I was too slow :)

It was lovely to see everyone again and catch up on everyone's stories.

However, my dear husband D said to me when I got home, "why did you want to take the babies with you? No one cared that they were there and it's not fair to set them up for rejection like that"

My heart broke.

At least they were only there 15 minutes but still... this emotional stuff is hard.

He said if people want to see them, they should visit us like my one friend, R, did just before the meeting. R had some magic going on because Connor was laughing like crazy with her - such fun!

Very true.

Anyway, it was still a lovely day and at least the baby shower happened WHILE she was still pregnant. She's about 39 weeks now!

When K phoned me during the week, I saw her name come up on my phone and first thing I said was, "K, are you still pregnant?" LOL

What do you have planned this weekend?

After church tomorrow, we'll do more of what we did last Sunday - go play outside and let the kids eat stones and get dirty! And yes, that's a fake dog and the only one I'll be having until they're old enough to take care of an animal themselves :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Is it a girl/ boy thing?

Our babies are so different that I sometimes wonder if it's a girl/ boy thing or if it's a Kendra/ Connor thing.

Let me give you an example:

When they come into my study, Connor can trash the place in seconds.


He storms in, pulls over the wastepaper basket where I keep rolls of wrapping paper.

and then he eats it, of course

He'll go towards one of the computers and tug at all the cables, pull over the chair, pull over the other bins (I have separate paper and "other" wastepaper baskets) and if he can find any CDs, oh, then he's in heaven.

He is also tall so can reach half way across my desk when he stands on his toes.

Tall boy
I usually tidy up after them but one day I left everything to show D. He was even amazed at Connor's ability to cause havoc.

(D now says to me, "oh I can see Connor was here" in our bedroom because all his things are messed up)

Now Kendra will crawl in, smile at me and talk a bit. I generally pick her up and put her on my lap and she'll point at things on the desk and I tell her what those are.

"Yes, baby, Mummy's phone... calculator..." and on and on.

Insanely curious.

Then she does this thing with her legs that tells me she wants down and she'll typically open my handbag and look through. Or crawl to my library bag and play with the beading on the bag, etc.

D calls them Curious Girl and Destructor Lad.

This is very typical - Connor pulling down things and Kendra sitting and playing with things
Racing each other towards me, hence the blur - it is very sweet!

Is it a boy/ girl thing, or a K/ C thing?

In other news, last night Kendra started crying early (9:15 pm). I went in and said to her, "what's wrong, baby?" She then did the sign for milk so I said , "no baby, it's the middle of the night, no milk" and she burst out crying. Big, dramatic sobs like I'd been starving her for weeks on end. OY!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


As you know, I turned down that job offer and a few days later, the guy phoned me to find out if I'd be willing to speak to the big boss (currently on holiday in the US) as he'd emailed through my decline with reasons and big boss now wanted to talk to me.

Uh oh.

Of course I said yes. So that meeting is happening on Monday.

Meanwhile, things are a little bit different around here.

My own boss said that he's taking my intent to find meaningful work a lot more seriously (good!) and is committed to helping me.

I personally feel a lot more confident, like "at least SOMEONE wanted me".

But here's what I want to discuss with you...

We have a new principal in our team. When we were told she was joining, it was just, "L is joining as a principal on such and such date" but....... it actually seems like she is second in charge to my boss!!!

The reason I say this is she's delegating work left, right and centre which is technically fine but I don't like taking orders (yes, I have issues) from people especially where there's no clarity around role.

And this is the thing that's bugging me.

Yesterday we had a meeting and there is a very senior principal in our team who used to head up a business unit before but came to our team because she wanted a half day position. She's since back on full days.  (Nat, when we had our last lunch, it was the person with my boss when they came over to say hello).

And she was even being dictated to and got work delegated...

I felt so uncomfortable like the natural order was thrown out of whack.

I know, I know, it's not even me but I'm Defender of the Underdog :) I want to say, "what on EARTH is going on here? K ran our most profitable JV for 3 years"

But I need to treat carefully so I'm simply observing all the vibes and undercurrents (don't you just love corporate?!). Inside I'm going, "hmmm..."

I know all too well how quickly the "temperature" of a team changes with people moving around.

OH! The new broom called me a "tartlet" the other day as a joke. I immediately said, "what did you just call me?! I don't allow people to speak to me like that" (it was said in a jokey voice but we all knew it's not a joke - I really don't like that type of talk about me)

So I'm going to actually make notes for my meeting on Monday because if it looks like they're still keen, I'm keeping my options open. I will be firm on my non-negotiables but open to new arrangements.

Also, another ex-member of our team moved to another section last year while I was on maternity leave. We used to go eat dessert in the canteen at least once a week as we both have a sweet tooth :) Anyway, he's been recently promoted and has 3 people reporting to him. Very happy for him although he's stressed because he hates conflict and the new reports are giving him some uphill.

Just a reminder to me that taking chances is good and that could have been me!

What would you have said to the tartlet reference?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Get on the floor and other helpful tips

The afternoon session of the Babysense seminar was for older babies and since the morning session was like an antenatal class, there were a LOT of pregnant women who stayed on for my session.

It was actually quite freaky as everyone was either pregnant or had a little baby with them!

I went alone and didn't know a single person there, except Dr S who looked a bit lost amongst all the women :)

I met one twin mom of 7-month-old twins who, when I asked who was looking after them, said "this is my me time" a little bit defensively so I gather people had been giving her some uphill. I reassured her and said, "I TOTALLY agree. Have FUN!"

There was another lady who really was a fantastic ad for a twin pregnancy - all glowing and beautiful (I felt just a tiny bit jealous) - who had a serious case of the twin romance. Her friend asked me if mine were a handful and I said, "oh YES!" and to her, "get lots of help - seriously". I handed out my card :)

I like to sit near the back so I can make a quick dash for the loos (bathrooms) the minute there's a break.

The seminar itself was fantastic as ALL the speakers clearly were experts and knew their stuff well.

Things I didn't like was that it seemed just a tad disorganised (not enough signage, the ticket said it started at 1 and it started at 1:30, seating was auditorium-style so no place to rest my notebook except on my lap and the babies...).

At the start of the seminar the lady said that the babies had to go to the babysitting area (they'd arranged free babysitting) or if you wanted your baby with you, to please leave the auditorium the minute the baby started making a noise as it wasn't fair to the other people who had arranged babysitting.

Fantastic! Or so I thought.

Well, the same thing happened as at Elton John.Some people listened and others blatantly ignored her and just stayed in the room with mewling babies. Gosh, I was cross.

I find it so incredibly selfish - we have ALL paid money and we're ALL looking forward to some time out. What gives some people the right to do that?

The speakers were so good that I didn't want to miss out on anything... otherwise I would have found an organiser to move those people.

You know those feedback forms?

Well, my feeling is if you ask for feedback, you're going to get it so I made them a long list of things they did well (food, fantastic notebooks with speakers' notes, actual content) and things they need to fix for next year.

My Dr S probably saved me thousands of rands by sharing which illnesses/ symptoms to worry about and which you don't need to bring baby to the paed. He actually spoke himself out of LOTS of money :) And I learned that most things don't need an anti-biotic (which I hate but that's a story for another post).

Natalie, you asked about the stimulating your baby section... well, some take-outs...

1. don't leave baby in car seats
2. make sure they have tummy time
3. don't use walking rings/ jolly jumpers for more than 5 - 10 mins a day (please do NOT fight with me - I know some of you love your walking rings (have at it!) - I am reporting what was said... )

visual no-nos

1. overstimulation
2. mobiles over cots
3. no TV

The best things you can do to stimulate your baby is simply to read to your baby and get down on the floor and play with them (also very good for their gross motor development if you chase them around).

One I'm great at (my constant huge pile of laundry is evidence) and one I suck at.

How many times can you read "Poppy cat and the rainy day"???

(although it is very cute when Kendra points that tiny little finger at the cat and says meow)

If only I could crawl faster. Connor and I had a race on Sunday and he won! (shameful)

If there was even the slightest bit of doubt in my mind about having more babies (if I had a spare R100 000 since my eggs are two years older, I'm sure it would take at least 2 IVFs), the workshop on Saturday put it all to rest. Hearing all those new baby sounds... um, no thanks.

Also last night I decided to switch back to my old phone because I simply enjoy it better (and who cares if the current one's newer) and I watched a few videos on there of my babies when they were 4 months old. OH MY WORD - the sounds are different, they look different, they couldn't do anything but cry just like...BABIES! :)

Now I have gorgeous, BIG babies who I can toss around, chase around the house, understand, communicate with; it is fantastic!

I am so, SO done with tiny babies.

Which are your favourite books for your babies? And do you get down on the floor enough?

These gorgeous pics were taken at my friend's babies' birthday party by a professional photographer. That's her on the left of the bottom two pics with the birthday girls :)
P.S. while we all look happy and like we're enjoying the moment, I was actually hanging onto my two for dear life because they just don't sit still!
P.P.S. thank you for all the comments yesterday. I can't WAIT to meet some of you one day - it's on my list :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Let's have some tea

or coffee, if that's more your thing.

Actually, these days, it's a big glass of cold water with a slice of lemon for me :)

I'm tired of hearing myself talk so let's hear from you.

Let's pretend the dads were looking after the kids.

If we were to meet at a coffee shop, what would we talk about? What's on your mind? And what would you order?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Scolding other people's kids

The prompt this week is very timely for me as I found myself in a situation a few weeks ago.

We go to the family room at our church with the kids and it's a very nice set-up with the chairs in the middle and all along the side walls and at the back there are tables and chairs with crayons and colouring books, puzzles, etc. There are also two changing stations with wipes, nappy bags and air freshener :) There is a huge screen so we can watch the goings-on in the real church auditorium.


I've made no bones about the fact that the deacon who works there deserves a medal. A lot of the kids are allowed to run loose while their parents ignore their bad behaviour.

Yes, it is a place for kids to be more free but I still believe that you need to watch over your kids and make sure they're not disturbing others.

I am not including babies... I also had crying babies and until you get their bottle in their mouths, they are going to scream :) Thank goodness those days are over.

It's the older kids who run around, shrieking like banshees that bug me.

At first I just tried hard to ignore them and focus on the message but now, not so much.

So, two weeks ago...

Two kids were chasing each other around the room, clearly disturbing a whole lot of us who were trying very hard to get some Word.

I know that Sunday morning is the only time I have to hear God's Word in a church setting so I really go in with an attitude of "give me whatever you can - anything I can take and apply to my life" and I get it.

These two ran around the perimeter of the room one complete round without any intervention by either of their parents and when they started round 2, I went to the front runner and said to him, "please will you stop running and play quietly. I'm trying to listen to the pastor"

And they stopped.

D said he can't believe how bolshie I am. I told him the same thing I told you - it is the ONLY time each week I get to hear the word and I'm going to protect that time.

So.......... what would you do?

P.S. I would do the same thing on a playground. First watch and see if the parents intervene. If they're not going to see to their kids, then I will.

Before my kids were born, I'd said to a friend's kids, "please stop running in my house. Do you want to run and play? Let's go outside" :)

P.P.S. I hope this goes without saying but I never allow my kids to misbehave with others. Just yesterday we had a lovely tantrum because Connor wanted a little girl's toy and I wouldn't let him grab!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I've come a loooong way

Yesterday afternoon I went to the afternoon session of the Baby Sense workshops, for older babies.

In South Africa, the Baby Sense range is like a parenting "bible" - they have Baby Sense, Sleep Sense, Toddler sense and Feeding Sense. And, of course, a whole range of lovely, but very expensive products.

"My" Dr S (the kids' paed) is a co-author of the Feeding Sense book which has just been released.

Of course I own the first two and will definitely be getting Toddler Sense and if the kids start messing about with eating again, probably the Feeding Sense one too.

They are all excellent. A tiny bit woo-woo, definitely no crying it out but on the whole, good common sense when you think about it.


It was almost exactly 6 months ago that I went to the Parenting Workshop where Sister Lillian spoke and set me free about the sleep thing.

Yesterday when I was listening to the sleep session, I honestly didn't learn anything knew but this is due to the fact that I own about 10 sleep books so I'm an unwilling sleep expert.

BUT... as she was talking I thought, "I can't believe we've come this far!"

They were 8 months then and I do believe they started sleeping through (by my high standards) at about 9 - 10 months.

If someone had told me when I was first pregnant or when I'd just had the babies that I'd go through 10 months of sleep deprivation, I'd probably want to shoot myself.


I honestly the bad part was from 6 - 12 weeks and then it was plain sailing after that.


I still think mostly everyone is lying about how great it all is because when I probe, I find out the truth.

Just the other day, I had a chat with a mother of a 4-year-old and an 11-month-old. She is new to our team. She said they STILL wake up at least twice a night, once with each child, on a good night. On a bad night, it's likely once every hour from 11 pm.

I actually shuddered.

BUT she said she does realise that even though they're so sleep deprived, this is the best time of their lives as the bigger the kids get, the bigger the problems get. Oy!

There was a time when I thought the babies would actually NEVER sleep properly. Kind of like that scary feeling us infertiles have when you think, "oh my WORD, I'm never going to have a baby. I can't believe this is my life"

I don't know quite what it was that switched the trigger to "good sleep" - the babies growing up, me relaxing, us being consistent with our routine or God finally deciding to smile down on us? Maybe a combination of all 4?

I'm just so glad that it has happened.

P.S. some trivia from the seminar -
35 000 babies were surveyed across South Africa and 41% of those have regular sleep problems - either going to sleep or staying asleep.

Friday, September 10, 2010

What are your values?

What is most important to you?

Are you able to answer the question easily? Or did you have to think about it a bit?

Your values are those things that guide your decisions and behaviour.

They are deeply ingrained in you and speak to the core of who you are.

They are not your morals though.

Why is it a good idea to know what your values are?

It helps with your decision-making.

When I had to make the decision about the job offer, I eventually turned it down because I felt my number 1 value, freedom, would be compromised.

Let's have another example from one of my coaching clients.

She's a consultant whose highest value is security. Constantly stressed and overwhelmed trying to make a consistent income and wondering why she's not enjoying what she always wanted - her own company. Well, it's because the nature of the work is that some months are good, some months are bad and there's no security.

One more example... a lady whose highest value was family moved away from Durban to Joburg for better, higher-paying jobs for her and her husband. She was dreadfully unhappy here for about 3 years until she eventually decided to move back to be near her family. Is now earning less in Durban but is BLISSFULLY happy because she's living her values.

If you can't decide about your values, something that helps is to ask, "when something significant happens in my life, what's the first thing I think of?"

Once you have your top 5, prioritise them 1 - 5.

Get your hubby to do the same and discuss the results on your next date night :) It sounds boring but it is so insightful. When D and I first did this exercise together (I used to run relationship workshops and this was one of the most powerful exercises the couples did), we spent about two hours talking about our results. Your relationship improves as you understand what makes them tick.

I can't give you the values assessment I use with my clients since they do pay for this but I found a free one for you on the web. If you don't see words on here that resonate with you, add your own. The words provided are just a guideline.

My top values are:
  1. freedom
  2. integrity
  3. authenticity
  4. connection
  5. achievement
  6. courage
  7. excellence
  8. action
  9. fairness
  10. order
What are your values?

Thursday, September 09, 2010

The lost art of conversation

I read a blog post the other day that reminded me of one of my pet peeves.

Basically she was saying she went to a wedding and met two different people, both of which spoke with her for 30 minutes each, answered all her questions but didn't bother to ask her even one question about her own life.

I so get her frustration.

D and I often say that conversation is a lost art these days.

People don't seem to know how to engage back and forth and take an interest in the other person.

This really is one of my pet peeves.

The Zulu people have it right, not that I know Zulu but I studied very basic greetings and a few sentences a few years ago.

One person greets, the other replies, the first one adds something else, the other replies, and then they get on with the conversation. But the first four bits have a rhythm to it that starts off a lovely conversation.

I don't know if I'm getting more attuned to it, being a pet peeve, or that it really is getting worse.

Maybe it's the social media space where everyone just broadcasts their tweets or status updates whether anyone's listening or not? :)

I don't know.

So in the interest of conversation, tell me, have you also found this to be true?

What are some of your pet peeves?
(Another one of mine is incorrect use of the apostrophe!)

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The start of a photo organising system and today's naughtiness

As you know, my normal style is severe procrastination with photo downloading/ uploading. It's almost a rule that at least a month needs to pass before photos will be up/ downloaded.

But I'm determined to get this photo system working better.

I'm actually up to date up til 31 August which is a miracle.

Also, I delegated some of the photo stuff to D :)

So I download from camera to laptop and then he goes through, deleting duds, cropping, and so on. And then I organise into the respective folders (babies, organising and project 365, as well as my "crazy" folders like skies and food :))


My usual custom now that it's hot is to get home, strip out of work clothes and put on shorts and then get on the carpet and play with the kids.

By "play" I mean Connor pulls my hair and crawls all over me while Kendra circles us, avoiding the roughness and only ventures in when it's safe. If Connor occupies himself, then I chase Kendra up and down my open-plan section and she SCREECHES with laughter.

It's huge fun and I love their giggles.

So I'm waiting for some furniture to arrive (don't ask - this is the reason I want to do that customer service blog) and I have a lovely clear white wall at the moment. Remembering how Claudia's been saying to work with a clear background, I thought this boring wall is perfect for pics.

Unfortunately someone forgot to tell the babies to co-operate.

They don't sit still so I had the not-so-bright idea to give them the rattles V was using to try and get them to look in one direction.

Big mistake.

Connor has one but wants Kendra's too so this is what happened.

This is the naughtiest I have ever seen him. I am VERY afraid.

Had I carried on taking pics (the battery went dead), the next one would have shown Connor throwing a temper tantrum because I was Tough Mom and confiscated BOTH rattles.

Tomorrow I have literally back-to-back-to-back meetings (and hellishly long ones) right from 8 until 1:30, a half-hour break, and then another one.

Are you having a good week?

P.S. I'm feeling very virtuous - I went to gym twice this week :)

Tuesday, September 07, 2010


I have ridiculously crazy curly hair.

So when I find something that works, I remain totally loyal and buy that product religiously for years.

Years ago, out of the blue, the company stopped making the leave-in conditioner I'd been using to tame my crazy curls.

I was devastated.

Then I saw something on TV about a foundation that adjusts to the colour of your skin.

Rubbish, I thought. There is no way that could work.

But my eyes glinted as I heard the magic words - results guaranteed or your money back.

I'm always up for a challenge so off I went to buy a tube of this foundation and lo and behold, it actually worked!

I couldn't believe it.

I happily used it and when I saw it was about to run out, I went to replace it.

After trawling to a number of stores, someone eventually knew what they were talking about and told me the line had been discontinued.


So I went back to my second choice.

This weekend I went to replace my nearly empty jar and ..........

yes, it's also been discontinued.

Either I have the amazing "gift" of being able to choose things that will be duds soon or there's some weird makeup vibe going on.

This is most annoying as I now have to find time to go play with make-up in stores with unflattering lights (remember I hate make-up - I wear out of necessity and also not very much).

Can anyone recommend a good mousse foundation that won't leave my skin oily?

P.S. Kendra's temperature went below 37 once today and has been 37.something the whole day. However, when I checked her at 9:30 it was 38.8 again, so stripped her totally down and forced Panado into her. She then asked for water (love sign language) and that's how I left her... I want my feisty, little girl back!!!

Monday, September 06, 2010

Monday night gumbo

Today was a write-off at work. Too many meetings (4). My comfort level is 3 so I have time to action things too. I also left early because V sent a text to say Kendra's temperature was back up to 38. Guess tomorrow I'll have to pull out all stops and get my stuff done.

Despite all this, I am proud because I forced myself to go to gym. Amazing what competition will do. There are 5 - 6 of us all on a quest to lose weight so every Monday morning we weigh in. So far I've lost nothing - I gained, stayed the same and then lost the 0.5 kg so am right back where I started. The front runner has already lost 2 kg in the 3 weeks!

Kendra's temperature was coming down so nicely today and then again, up to 38. She is a lot more herself though. Doing her little Kendra things (i.e. being cute and talking lots). We've now woken up 2 nights in a row at 2:30 to give her a suppository and tonight will be night 3. Funny how it's not a big deal to get up in the middle of the night...

Since I was basically housebound this weekend caring for Kendra, I decided to "make myself useful" and cooked up a storm on Sunday (7 meals for us {14 portions} and 4 meals for the babies {8 portions}. I also totally decluttered my bedroom and as I wear things that look horrible, I will be throwing some more out. Tomorrow my gardener will be sporting a genuine South African soccer shirt and cap as I've decided that the horrible mustard yellow is just not a good colour on me and why hang onto things just because they cost a lot of money?

I am thinking of starting yet another blog because I figure, surely these things happen to me for a reason? Let me give you a quick example. Logged a call with my ISP on 25 Aug at 11:31. No response despite then going onto their website about a week later to complain until today. Again, no one qualified called me. I am so tired of this rubbish and I am starting to believe that it is my 3rd mission in life to educate people about treating customers properly. I told another company last week, "if I treated my customers the way you've been treating me, I would have been fired." Enough said.

But how are YOU doing? Is it just around these parts or is everyone verrrrrry, verrrrry quiet?

Sunday, September 05, 2010


Yesterday morning the babies went for their nap in the morning and Kendra woke at 11:10.

She generally plays for a bit in her cot and then cries out when she wants to be fetched.

So when she cried out, I picked her up and she was HOT. Granted, she'd been sleeping but I grabbed her, the thermometer and went to D to help me take her temperature.

39.5 degrees

I gave 2.5 ml Panado (they can get 5ml but I'm not really one for medicines...) and by 1pm it was 38.4 (she and I enjoyed a lovely lunch) and at 3.15 it was 37.9.

Then it was time for afternoon "rest" since they don't technically nap at 3:30 and suddenly she started shivering.

D put a blanket over her and she was quiet as a mouse.

Already not a good sign since she talks ALL the time.

Just before making my cup of tea (that's actually what afternoon rest is all about), I had a feeling and went to check on her.

She was RED like a tomato and hot as hell.

I grabbed her and the thermometer and started taking her temperature.

We have a thermometer that you put under the arm and it gives an accurate reading after 1 minute.

Well, I waited about 15 - 20 seconds and when I looked it said 40.5.


I grabbed Kendra (just as is, in a vest and leggings), my bag and car keys and I was out of there.

I had to talk myself down from the ledge because she was quiet and wasn't responding to any of the normal things, e.g. make like a lion, make like a dog, etc. or just general talk.

The hospital is 2 minutes down the road and everything worked out because there was a parking right in front.

I rushed her in and the girl on reception was fantastic! Seriously.

I didn't even have the medical aid card with K & C listed as dependents but she was calm, used my medical aid details and super professional.

And K was seen straight away.

Must be The Notebook I whipped out showing all the temperatures, times, what she ate, drank, etc. :)

(sidenote - and this is why I can never give up The Notebook)

By this time it was only 15 mins after I'd taken her temperature at home and it was 40.4 degrees.

She then vomited for the first time ever (how would I have dealt with reflux babies?!) all over her vest, bib, hair, etc.

They gave her a suppository and in between doctor visits, I kept checking her temperature with my thermometer. 37.8 degrees, then 38.2 degrees while we were there.

There was nothing obviously wrong with her and they tried to collect some urine to see if she had an infection but that bag remained bone dry for an hour.

We left with a prescription to give her a suppository every 6 hours whether or not her temperature was coming down and if nothing changes in 48 hours (48!) then to bring her back.

So she's got until 11 am tomorrow morning.

She woke at 8 pm last night and then we woke her at 2:30 giving her the supp. She hates it!

Today 38.6, 38.8 and now at 8:30 pm, 39.1.

I can only hope it's about to "break".

What does that mean anyway? I thought it "broke" yesterday afternoon and then we had the chills and spike.

Got two empaped (paracetamol) from my friend with the twins and we were chatting... as you do... She said that one of her girls had similar symptoms just as she was getting loads of new teeth.

I checked in Kendra's mouth this afternoon and her gums do look very busy - top and bottom. If that's all it is, then hopefully those teeth come out tomorrow and my little girl can go back to normal.

It is terrible seeing her listless, quiet and crying all the time. Even when she was awake today, all she wanted to do was lay in her cot and think or read :)

P.S. To my friends who have sms'd, sorry, I have no time to reply individually :(

Saturday, September 04, 2010

I just made these delicious muffins for the babies

Now that the babies eat so much real food, I like to keep things with me (not just fruit) that they can eat if they're starving and we're still cooking their real food or waiting at a coffee shop.

I've made sweetcorn fritters for them before which I love, D is so-so about them and similarly, Connor loves but Kendra could take it or leave it. Oh well, more for us :)

Lately I've been carrying plain Provita with me - very boring. Poor children :)

I have always made muffins (they are one of my favourite foods in the world) but I must confess that lately they've been from a Golden Cloud or Snowflake mix.

I haven't been enjoying them that much and I don't know exactly what's in there so this morning I decided to whip up a batch of "proper" muffins. And it only took about 10 minutes to prepare and get ready for the oven.

So here is my favourite recipe exactly as it's supposed to be done and then I'll tell you how I made it healthier for the babies.

1 cup oats
1 cup yoghurt (any kind but if you use a strong flavour, your muffins will taste the same) - I used plain unsweetened

mix those two together and leave in fridge for half an hour - it looks horrible but it will turn out fine later...

then add in

1 egg
1/2 cup oil - I used homemade applesauce, you could use a jar of Purity apple and a 1/4 cup of oil
1/2 cup sugar - I used more apple and only 1/4 cup of brown sugar
any combination of fruit, spices, etc. (I used apple and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, a spice straight from heaven! I've used banana in the past, pumpkin, ANYTHING works)
1 1/4 cup self-raising flour OR plain cake flour plus 1 teaspoon baking powder

In total I used about a cup of cooked apple... you can't really go wrong with muffins though :)

Don't overmix the flour. With muffins, always mix until "just combined" otherwise they are hard as a rock.

Spoon into muffin trays and bake in a preheated oven at 22o degrees Celsius for 20 minutes. If you have a hot oven like mine, only bake for 15 minutes or at least check it at the 15-minute mark with a toothpick.

They should be golden brown on top.

I used two trays - one with 6 normal-sized muffins and 12 tiny ones which are supposed to be for the babies but I've already had two. Just to test that they were okay ;)


What kind of snacks do you carry around with you?

P.S. If you make these muffins, please let me know if you like them.
P.P.S. after the success of these, I decided to never buy a mix again, unless I'm really desperate :)

Friday, September 03, 2010

Division of labour

Mandy posted about division of labour and as well as this being a particularly hot topic for me, I also think the way we do things works well for us, so I thought I'd write here instead of writing a whole post in her comments.

I feel very strongly (!) that no one spouse is more important than the other. Before we even got serious, we discussed these things and he agreed with me that if we both work outside the home, then we both also work inside the home.

So that's what we do.

Of course with the twins he really hasn't had much of a choice. I wrote about the conveyer belt system during bath time and D also does the "between 5 and 6" wake-up since I do the bedtime routine.

I will say it's impossible to be happily married and keep an accounting system in your head. We both believe that each of us must give 100%, none of this 50/50 business.

That said, I have realised over the years (remember I'm married 15 years so have TONS of experience) that women are just wired differently to men.

E.g. he just doesn't see the crumbs on the kitchen counter like I do...nor the smudges and drips on bathroom basins or the angle of the cushions on the couches that is not quite how I'd do it :)

But he is good with big, obvious stuff like toys laying around, dishes, etc.

He also knows that it's important to me to live in a clean and uncluttered environment so he does make the effort.

Anything above that, if it bothers me that much but is no great shakes in the grand scheme of things (cushions on couches, for example!), I do.

Of course there are times I feel resentful but I tell him and it's usually other stuff stressing me and this is my fallback. I'm going to write more about that when I do the last Motherstyles post next week.

I believe that when you love someone you should at least care when something bothers them. D does and will help me be at peace if I'm stressed about the house beyond the normal stuff.

We've had many systems over the years, from strictly 3 nights/ 3 nights/ 1 takeaway to our current arrangement which is me mainly cooking and D does the rice or pasta.

As far as cleaning the house goes, we went from doing it all on a Saturday morning (D would sweep & vacuum, I would mop, etc.) to now where we have a cleaning lady once a week.

I've said it before but I don't know how you ladies do it (especially twins) without nannies.

Please share with me what works for you (or what doesn't!) and how you do division of labour in the home.

P.S. Thanks to all who told me what you were eating and wearing when you commented on yesterday's post. LOVED reading the comments. Today I'm wearing cotton maternity pants since they're the only summer pants that fit comfortably! Sweets, I make the best toasted cheese sandwiches in the world (according to D :)). Next time you're up here, come over :)

Thursday, September 02, 2010

So, about the job offer

I declined.

It was a combination of 3 things actually:

1. A work friend and I had lunch a few weeks ago and she said something that stood out to me - her career could be growing faster elsewhere but this is the right environment for her now while her kids are small.

2. Another friend and I had an email conversation just last week and I said something like "I would take up to a R2000 salary cut for better work hours".

3. My email response to Natalie's comment on the job offer post. I don't know what it was but writing that email clarified things for me and I was 95% clear after that.

The next day I saw the dummy payslip and that sealed the deal.

That and the fact that I stopped thinking so much and followed my intuition.

It's served me quite well in the past so I don't quite know why I was overthinking things. Fear maybe?

I made a meeting with the guy yesterday and told him I'd be declining and why.

My main reasons? work hours and flexibility, followed by visibility/ profile in the company and then salary.

The telling thing is on Monday after I emailed Natalie I slept like a baby and have done so ever since, which is just fantastic.

The best thing about all of this is that I have increased clarity about what's most important to me right now, at this stage in my life, and that is freedom.

I spoke about freedom in the last post too but I want to write a post soon about values.

What a relief!

What's going on in your lives? Share any little tidbit with me, like what you had for breakfast or lunch, or what you're wearing :)

P.S. I had a toasted bacon and avo on wholewheat bread and I'm wearing black pants and a black and white shirt :)

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

They're still babies!

Look at those cheeks! And those eyelashes! And those baby hands!

I could just bite those gorgeous cheeks :)


Related Posts with Thumbnails